Shree Swami Ramanand Sant Ashram, Kedarnath
Height from Sea Level: 12000 ft.
How to Reach:
14 km trek on foot or horse ride from Gaurikund
|Nearby Airports: Delhi & Dehradun
|Nearby Railway Stations: Rishikesh
|Nearest Bus Station: Gaurikund
Shree Kedarnath Jyotirling is a holy abode of the Himalaya. It is a mountainous trek of 14 km from Gaurikund. Almost on the same route, before Shree Kedarnath temple, lies Shree Swami Ramanand Sant Ashram in the lovely and picturesque surroundings. It is situated on the beautiful hilltop on the left side at a distance of 12 km from Gaurikund. Revered Shree Swami Abhiramdasji Tyagi is the sculptor and founder of the ashram. It is not an ordinary ashram but a unique residence, having distinct fascination for many saints and offering services to them. Scores of saints visiting Shree Kedarnath temple from across the country regularly come to stay over and are overwhelmed by the service and welcome offered to them.
This ashram is located at Hanuman Gufa, Garudchatti which is some 2 km before Shree Kedarnath temple. Basically Shree Hanuman Gufa is a massive rock which has been carved into a cave like structure. There is a small beautiful temple of Shree Sitaramji (Thakorji's temple, in saint's parlance) in the cave. The clang and clatter of the Aarti during early morning and at night echoes at length in this deserted and secluded place. It fills one's heart with an indescribable divinity. The mind spontaneously becomes tranquil. Close proximity of saints, spiritual energy and the scenic beauty of the place are worth an experience!
By virtue of the inspiration derived from Sadgurudev Shree Swami Parmeshwaranandji, around 1973-74 Shree Swami Abhramdasji Tyagi resolved to offer services to the saints frequenting Shree Kedarnath temple and other parts of the Himalaya. Swamiji initiated construction of the ashram to materialise the resolve. Over years the structure and the amenities improved. Today this ashram holds a cherished place in the heart of saints due to its unique services. One can only imagine the kind of difficulties that must have been faced during the construction of this ashram at a height of 12000 ft. among snow clad mountains and unpredictable rains. Nevertheless, today all the facilities of lodging and boarding (complementary) for saints are available here. Though saints are given primary importance here, many pilgrims and / or disciples of Shree Swami Abhiramdasji Tyagi also can avail these benefits. This abode of Shree Sitaramji welcomes all.
Talking about the construction and maintenance here, it costs around 50 to 75 rs. to simply carry tiles of 1'x1' size at this height. One can easily calculate and understand the cost of carrying grocery and other necessities to this place. But still, provision of meals and other necessities for the pilgrims and saints visiting this place is regularly made.
In this Himalayan region the temperature often dips below zero degree which necessitates a good deal of warm bedding. An electricity generator is also installed here to facilitate uninterrupted supply of electricity. It is utilized for heating water for bathing. Many saints begin their meditation in the very early hours of morning even during chilly winters.
'This service is possible due to the blessings of Lord Hanuman.' This is what Shree Swami Abhiramdasji Tyagi says very humbly. There is not an iota of pride in Swamiji's demeanour. One who bows down at Swamiji's feet and listens to the kind, benevolent and warm words of wisdom instinctively becomes an ardent devotee. Swamiji's crystal clear eyes have such charisma that once a devotee is blessed with Swamiji's darshan, his heart yearns for it eternally.
While Shree Sitaramji's temple is one attraction of Hanuman Gufa, Swamiji's sitting room is another centre of attraction. Devotees feel blessed while having spiritual discourse with Swamiji here. This place also serves as a small ayurvedic clinic. Swamiji's extensive experience of dwelling in this Himalayan region and acquiring knowledge of local herbs bless the needy with cure for many diseases.
In the early days, Shree Swami Abhiramdasji Tyagi regularly practised meditation here between the months of May and October. But even when the gates to Shree Kedarnath temple closed for pilgrims because of snowfall during winter, Swamiji continued with meditation here. Presently, being involved in the administration of many places of pilgrimage, service centres and ashrams across India, Swamiji is able to spend comparatively lesser time at Shree Kedarnath. But even then more and more services are being offered to saints here due to Swamiji's blessings, encouragement and guidance.
It is an experience in itself to get the blessings of Shree Abhiramdasji Tyagi and other saints in this unique abode of saintly services.
Tulsidasji very aptly says:
A moment or a half
Or even half of the half
Spent in the proximity of saints
Can absolve mortals of a million sins.